Social media has changed the way we do business. As business owners, we can now connect with large audiences without ever leaving our shop. Unlike in the past, relaying your messages and communicating with the public is now as simple as a tweet, a pin or a live video. Like it or not, the world of social media has changed the reach of all businesses and if you aren’t utilizing social media platforms correctly, you are not only missing out on business but you are also neglecting, even weakening your brand.  So how do you use social media for business? No, you aren’t going to show your audience pictures of your baby or what you had for dinner last night. Here a 6 things to NEVER do when using social media for business:

  1. Don’t Mix Personal and Business

Please, please, please do not do this. If you are keeping personal social media accounts, please keep the personal very separate from your business accounts. Your customers, future customers and the community that you have built over time do not want to see your date night selfie. They look to you as an expert in your field, so give them what they want – your expertise. Don’t blast your new car or things going on in your personal life on your business page. If you do, that’s a surefire way to lose some of your audience.

  1. Don’t Push the Sales Too Hard

This is a big one. Don’t use your social media platforms as a sales platform. Regardless of the product, people don’t want their feeds filled with sales pitches. They do however want to see businesses in their feeds. They do want to know what your business is up to, news and of course, they want to be entertained and educated. The sales will come later after a rapport has been built. Establish yourself and your business as an expert in your field and gain trust from your community by sharing your knowledge without selling.

  1. No Politics

While this rule can be a tough one to refrain from breaking, this is especially true right now. With the current election campaigning in full swing, it may feel like a good topic to discuss on your social media channels, but it’s not – especially for businesses. Political views are personal, even when they relate to business. Expressing your personal opinions and beliefs on your business channels isn’t going to benefit your business and may even hurt it. A rant about a candidate, policy or law may seem like a good idea and may even increase engagement on your page, but this may not attract positive engagement. It’s also good to remember that whatever you put out there on the internet never truly goes away, even when you have deleted the content. Politics are ugly. Keep it off your business social media pages.

  1. Don’t Steal Content

Stealing content is a big “no-no”. But it is super easy to do. And you may be doing it without even realizing it. Content theft occurs anytime you use someone else’s content and pass it off as your own. While it may seem that everyone is doing it, don’t. Risking legal troubles for your business is not worth a few social media posts. Surprisingly, this also applies to photos, graphics and even memes. You can use content that is not yours with proper permission and attribution, but the best way to protect yourself from legal issues is to provide your own original content.

  1. Don’t Neglect Your Community

“If you are going to do something, do it right” certainly applies to social media for business. Don’t put your message out there and then forget it. When you have engagement form your online community, you need to engage back. Respond to questions and comments, even if they are not positive. Remember not to get defensive or let your emotions get the best of you when responding to difficult content. It is important to show the rest of your community that you can appropriately handle feedback whether positive or negative. This can further help establish your business as a leader in the community that others will want to do business with.

You also want to steer clear of having social media pages that go unused. It’s important to create content regularly. Inconsistent posts here and there will cause you to lose followers and isn’t regarded well with some of the social media pages. For instance, Facebook uses an algorithm to determine how many (and which ones) of your posts will be seen in other Facebook user’s feeds. Not every piece of content you post will be seen by all of your followers so it is important to create content regularly to help increase the number of people who can see your content.

  1. Don’t Get Banned

Be sure you are familiar with the rules of each different social media platform that you use. Take the time to read them and read them often as they can change from time to time. Each platform has individual rules that must be adhered to in order to avoid having your account deleted. When this happens, all of your hard work dating back to the beginning is also deleted. Content for your marijuana business can be tricky on many platforms since it is not legal on a national level. For instance, promoting the use or sale of prescription or recreational drugs on Facebook, violates their terms of use.  This includes marijuana. So be careful with your content and how you market your business. Each social media platform has different terms of service or use, so be sure you are tailoring your content to each appropriately.

 Don’t let bad social media practices keep your business from thriving. You can get more help with your social media for business strategy right here. We are experts in cannabis business marketing and we are here to help you navigate through a complex and confusing territory while effectively marketing your business.